The Clean Water Act is a cornerstone of protecting our waters in this country. It was signed into law by President Richard Nixon, a Republican. Fires on the Cuyahoga River (burning on pollution) and unsafe drinking water spurred Congress into action, but it took President Nixon's support to get this legislation passed.
From then on, America has made miraculous progress in cleaning up and protecting our vital rivers, streams, and wetlands. These are the watersheds for not only farms and cities, but also provide critical habitat for wildlife.
As the Obama Administration grappled with the drinking water debacle in Flint, Michigan, the Environmental Protection Agency promulgated new rules implementing the Clean Water Act. In many ways, the new rules enhanced water quality protections. As our society becomes more complex, ensuring clean water is essential.
However, like everything else, there was a huge push back from developers and corporate agriculture. Now, the Trump Administration wants to repeal those rules and allow more discretion as to what ends up in our water.
Sometimes discretion is not a good thing.